Becoming a diplomat an introduction to the icons international system negotiation simulation
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Becoming a Diplomat: An introduction to the ICONS International System Negotiation Simulation. Spring 2007. What is an ICONS simulation?. ICONS simulations: allow students to take on the roles of policymakers task students with addressing controversial global issues in these roles

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Becoming a diplomat an introduction to the icons international system negotiation simulation l.jpg

Becoming a Diplomat:An introduction to the ICONS International System Negotiation Simulation

Spring 2007


What is an icons simulation l.jpg
What is an ICONS simulation?

ICONS simulations:

  • allow students to take on the roles of policymakers

  • task students with addressing controversial global issues in these roles

  • provide an online forum for students from participating schools around the world to discuss these issues in depth, with the goal of negotiating agreements that address core interests


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Learning Objectives

  • Increase knowledge about the countries involved in the negotiations

  • Enhance appreciation of the issues being explored in the negotiation

  • Expand understanding of the factors that can drive foreign-policy decisions

  • Hone skills related to conflict resolution, teamwork, critical thinking, and communication


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Process of the ICONS Simulation

  • Three distinct phases of the exercise:

    • Simulation preparation

    • Online negotiations

    • Post-simulation reflection


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Preparation: Country Teams

  • Your instructor will inform you which country you will represent in the negotiation

  • Each country is represented by a team of students from a class

  • Within your country-team, each student should develop an expertise in one of the three issue areas in the negotiation:

    • International terrorism

    • Debt and economic development

    • International public health


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Preparation: The Issues

International Terrorism

  • What are effective counter-terrorism strategies that the international community could employ to reduce the chance of future terrorist attacks?

  • How can and should the international community respond to countries that directly or indirectly support international terrorism?


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Preparation: The Issues

Economic Debt and Development

  • Should some or all countries in the international community be offered debt forgiveness?

  • Are free trade systems desirable for the international community? Should there be some limits to free trade?


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Preparation: The Issues

International Public Health

  • How can the international system balance the real costs of health treatments and the real need for such treatments around the world?

  • What are the most appropriate and effective ways to prevent the spread of deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and cholera?


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Preparation: Available Resources

  • In order to help you become an expert, you’ll have access to resources from the ICONS website: www.icons.umd.edu

  • Resources include:

    • Scenario: outlines the context and issues of the negotiation

    • Country Resources: provides introductory material about the countries involved in the negotiation and links to more information

    • Research Library: includes links to a range of sources relevant to the issues of the negotiation


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Preparation: Goals

Before the online negotiations begin, each country-team should be able to:

  • Explain the core national interests of the country it represents

  • Describe the country’s objectives related to the three issue areas

  • Outline key provisions that you would like included in (or excluded from) proposals related to each issue

  • Identify which other countries in the negotiation will likely be allies or opponents

  • Explain how you plan to achieve your country’s goals (that is, explain your strategy)


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Preparation: Assignments

  • [INSTRUCTOR TO ADD DETAILS ABOUT ASSIGNMENT AND DUE DATES HERE]


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Online Negotiations: Expectations

  • Online negotiations begin on Monday, March 6

  • Each team is expected to log in at www.icons.umd.edu on March 6 to begin sending and reading messages with other teams

  • Teams need to check messages every day during the three weeks of the negotiations, and respond and post new messages as appropriate


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Online Negotiations: Message Exchanges

  • Messaging is the primary way that countries will negotiate with one another

  • All students are expected to use professional, diplomatic language in these exchanges

  • Exchanges will be monitored by a Simulation Controller (SimCon), an ICONS staff member who makes sure teams are staying in role

  • Team members will have to decide how they will manage the message traffic


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Sample Welcome Messages in ICONSnet

Teams retrieve messages by clicking here


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Sample Outgoing Message in ICONSnet

Teams compose messages by clicking here


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Online Negotiations: My Team

  • Options under the My Team tab allow you to message just with other members of your team

  • Use this feature to facilitate discussion of planning, strategy, and how you plan to manage the negotiations

  • Always remember to check for new My Team messages when you log in


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Sample “My Team” List of Messages

Review messages from and send messages to your teammates here


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Online Negotiations: Conferences

  • Messages will be supplemented by conferences

  • Conferences are

    • Real-time exchanges among all teams

    • 60-minute sessions

    • Held at pre-scheduled times

    • Focused on one of the 3 issue areas

    • Chaired by SimCon


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Online Negotiations: Conference Schedule

  • There are two conferences for each issue area

  • At least one representative from each country-team must attend each conference

Click here for your conference schedule

Click on specific date/time to convert from GMT to local time!


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Online Negotiations: Proposals

  • Discussions among teams should lead to the generation of Proposals related to the specified negotiation questions

  • Any team may submit proposals using the Proposal Center beginning on Day of the simulation

  • Prior to submitting, review the Proposal Criteria (under the Resources) tab

  • If proposals don’t meet these criteria, SimCon will not approve them for review by other teams


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Online Negotiations: Proposal Phases


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Post-Simulation Reflection: Assignments

  • [INSTRUCTOR TO ADD DETAILS ABOUT ASSIGNMENT AND DUE DATES HERE]


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Where to Get Help

  • For general questions about using the ICONSnet system, click the Help link

  • For lost passwords, contact your teacher

  • For questions about the negotiation specifics, send an ICONS Message to SimCon

  • GOOD LUCK!